New religious violence in Central Africa leaves one dead, 10 injured

By 02:14 Fri, 16 Oct 2015 Comments

At least one person was killed and 10 injured in fresh sectarian clashes in a flashpoint neighbourhood of the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, military and hospital sources said Friday.

The violence late Thursday in the largely Muslim district of PK-5, accompanied by gunfire, forced thousands of residents to flee to other parts of the city.

Many returned to their homes on Friday morning as calm was restored, an AFP correspondent said.

“These new clashes broke out following the death of a young Muslim who was killed by suspected anti-balaka members,” said a military source, referring to the largely Christian militia.

The anti-balaka “then launched attacks on PK-5 that were repulsed by armed Muslims.”

The clashes left one person dead and 10 injured, a hospital source said. Some residents however put the death toll at three.

The return of violence to the district follows clashes in late September that left 61 dead and more than 300 wounded before French troops and UN peacekeepers intervened to restore calm.

Both outbreaks of violence were sparked by the killing of a Muslim in PK-5.

A former French colony which gained independence in 1960, the Central African Republic was shaken by months-long violence between Christians and Muslims in 2013, triggered by the ousting of then president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

The country was due to stage presidential and legislative elections on October 18, but the polls have been postponed because of delays in registering voters.

One in 10 Central Africans — 460,000 people — have sought refuge outside the country, mainly in Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo and Congo, since 2013.



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